Gen. Mark Clarke - opinions.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by vinnye, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    As the title suggests, I am wanting to know peoples views on General Mark Clarke.
    I have seen a couple of documentaries that are less than complimentary about his leadership in Italy.
    Specifically, that he was not bold enough in the Anzio landings in the initial stages. I believe it was said that "we thought we were throwing a lion on to the beach and it turned out to be a lamb."
    And, secondly, once the Allies had broken through the German defences - Clarke was more interested in grabbing the headlines by liberating Rome in June 1944, rather than destroying / capturing German troops?
     
  2. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Sems to have been a very good staff and training officer but less succesful as a field officer.
     
  3. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    I have heard/read that he held back other nations troops who would have been in Rome before the Americans so that Americans would be in Rome first.

    Any truth to this?
     
  4. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    He stood by Bill Mauldin when other Generals wanted him skinned.
     
  5. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    I had not come across Mauldin so Wiki ' d him and found ;
    General George Patton once summoned Mauldin to his office and threatened to "throw his ass in jail" for "spreading dissent," this after one of Mauldin's cartoons made fun of Patton's demand that all soldiers must be clean-shaven at all times, even in combat. But Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander European Theater, told Patton to leave Mauldin alone, because he felt that Mauldin's cartoons gave the soldiers an outlet for their frustrations. Mauldin told an interviewer later, "I always admired Patton. Oh, sure, the stupid bastard was crazy. He was insane. He thought he was living in the Dark Ages. Soldiers were peasants to him. I didn't like that attitude, but I certainly respected his theories and the techniques he used to get his men out of their foxholes."[6]

    Mauldin's cartoons made him a hero to the common soldier. GIs often credited him with helping them to get through the rigors of the war. His credibility with the common soldier increased in September 1943, when he was wounded in the shoulder by a German mortar while visiting a machine gun crew near Monte Cassino.[1] By the end of the war he also received the Army's Legion of Merit for his cartoons. (Mauldin wanted to have Willie and Joe be killed on the last day of combat, but Stars and Stripes dissuaded him.
     
  6. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    Whenever I head his name mentioned here by veterans of the Italian campaign descriptions of him involving his parentage I can't post here usually follow. There's some poetic jistice in the fact that the world only gave a damn about him taking Rome for 24 hours.
     
  7. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    If you were to tlk to any Canadians from 1st Division, I don't think they would have been complimentary.
    It was this division that broke through the German lines and was pulled out to allo American troops to liberate Rome.
    So Clarke grabbed the headlines for 24 hrs or so before D Day happened.
     
  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think he was, but I think issues with the Italian Campaign over shadow some of his other accmplishments such as his secret mission to Algeria to persaude some of the Vichy French forces for support prior to the Allied landings in North Africa and his work after the war. I don't think he was the best US General, but I also think he was far from being the worst. Thought I am somewhat biased.
     
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